Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interview with April Lurie!

April Lurie is the wonderful author of The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine, which is amzing. She also wrote Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal Minds, which I plan on reading soon! If you haven't read these books yet, please do soon.

Where did your inspiration come from when you wrote The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine?

Surprisingly my inspiration came from the darkest time of my life – when my fifteen-year-old son, Daniel, got into trouble with drugs and alcohol and ultimately ran away from home. When I told my editor what had happened she said, “Well, maybe there will be a story one day.” I told her, “No. Absolutely not.” But when Daniel began doing better (he’s fine now, a senior in college) I decided to give it a try. The process was therapeutic, and I was able to insert a lot of humor into the story. Sometimes humor and pain go hand in hand.

I know I've told you about a milliion gazillion times, but I LOVED The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine. What made you decide to write from a guy's point of view rather than a girl's?

Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed Dylan. Really, that means so much to me. Well, when I decided to write the story I knew it had to be from a guy’s point of view. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I was amazed at how much fun it was. I have two brothers, two teenage sons, and a husband, so I’ve been around guys a lot. It was interesting to see the world from that angle.

Did you listen to a certain type of music while writing The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine? Was it a playlist set aside just for writing time, or was it a playlist that you listen to all the time?

Actually … I need total quiet when I write. I’m a bit of a lunatic – talking out loud, using different voices. It helps me get the voice and dialog right (I hope). Music is a big part of Dylan Fontaine, so when I wasn’t writing I listened to a lot of classic rock (and some Nirvana which isn’t classic … yet).

What is your favorite young adult book and/or author?

Wow, that’s a tough question. There are so many. But if I had to choose one, it’s Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going.

Why did you decide to write for teens?

It’s weird how that happened. When my oldest daughter began middle-school I started reading a lot of teen fiction. After reading and loving Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, I decided I wanted to write for teens. I’m fascinated with how teenagers view the world, and how there are so many “firsts”. First love, first kiss, first heartbreak. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.

What is a day in your life like?

I wake up around 7:00 am, make my daughter breakfast, go to the gym or take a long walk, and then write for about four hours. Some days writing can be magical. I love those days. I’m also a writing instructor, so in the afternoon I critique manuscripts and write letters to my students. After that it’s carpool duties, dinner, spending time with my family, and bed. Sometimes I visit schools, which is a lot of fun. Some days I get together with my writer buds. I’m really lucky because Austin has so many YA authors. We’re a very tight knit group.

What was your road to publication like? How was it different than you imagined it?

Like most writers, my road to publication was filled with many, many rejections. But along the way, there were people – friends, family, and the occasional letter from an agent or editor with the words, “I really like this, but …” I knew the road would be rough. One thing that kept me going was that my first book, Dancing in the Streets of Brooklyn, based on my parents’ lives growing up in Brooklyn during WWII, was a gift for my mom and dad. I figured if it never got published, at least they would always have it.

Can we expect any new books from you soon?

Yes! My next YA novel – The Less-Dead – will be released in Fall 2009. It’s about a sixteen-year-old boy, Noah, who hunts down a serial killer in Austin.

Since it's around Halloween, what is your most favorite Halloween memory?

Dressing up in a tiger costume. Our yorkie, Dino, thought I was a wild animal and attacked me.

What advice to you give to teens who want to be a published author someday?

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I’ll say it again. Read, read, read. Write, write write. It’s the truth. That’s all you need to do.


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